Peter Ackermann, coach at Westlake Village Oaks Christian, said that Saturday was among the greatest days in the program's history.
Behind the play of senior Ashley Veilleux and sophomore Taylor Schlopy, the Lions beat two formidable opponents, Goleta Dos Pueblos, 7-1, and Santa Ana Mater Dei, 3-0, in the Thousand Oaks tournament to advance to the semifinals next Saturday.
A knock against Oaks Christian, despite its 66-3 combined record and back-to-back Division IV titles the last two seasons, has been the strength of its schedule.
"This weekend it all meshed together," Ackermann said. "It was a tournament in front of our peers that people said, 'Yeah, they are that good,' instead of saying, 'I told you so.' "
Oaks Christian meets Simi Valley Royal in one semifinal and Riverside Poly and Long Beach Millikan play in the other. Both begin at 3:45 p.m.
Millikan won six games last week, including victories over Westlake Village Westlake, 3-2, and Valencia, 6-1. At the time, Valencia was ranked No. 1 by The Times.
Poly won five games, including a third victory over Riverside King, and victories over Norco, 2-1, and Thousand Oaks, 5-2 in eight innings, in the tournament.
Fifteen of the 16 teams in the tournament had been ranked at some point in the season among The Times' top 25.
One of the four ranked teams that lost twice Saturday was Fullerton Rosary, which had beaten Santa Ana Mater Dei, 1-0, a day earlier to give the Royals the inside track to the Serra League title.
San Pedro's Tony Dobra recently surpassed two coaching milestones. On Wednesday, his team's 12-0 victory over Los Angeles Washington gave him his 400th win in 19 seasons with the Pirates. Five days earlier, a 9-0 victory over Harbor City Narbonne was his 500th win overall. He had been 102-27 at San Pedro Mary Star from 1981 to 1986. His overall record is 505-123-2.
The five-time defending City champions received good news when senior pitcher Courtney Lyons returned to the lineup after surgery to remove a cyst from an ovary. She pitched the last two innings against Washington, returning 4 1/2 weeks after some doctors said she could be out as many as six.
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THE TIMES' RANKINGS
MARTIN HENDERSON'S SOFTBALL RANKINGS
*--* Rk Team Rec. Div. LW 1 CORONA 22-1 Div. I 2 2 G.G. PACIFICA 22-2-1 Div. I 5 3 ROYAL 17-2 Div. I 11 4 EL MODENA 16-6-1 Div. II 10 5 EL DORADO 16-2-1 Div. II 3 6 RIVERSIDE POLY 16-3-1 Div. I 25 7 CAJON 21-2 Div. III 9 8 CORONA SANTIAGO 18-5 Div. I 13 9 SAUGUS 16-3 Div. I NR 10 MILLIKAN 18-4 Div. III NR 11 VALENCIA 19-3 Div. I 1 12 KING 14-7 Div. I 16 13 NEWBURY PARK 13-6 Div. I 19 14 OAKS CHRISTIAN 19-4 Div. III NR 15 WESTLAKE 12-6 Div. I NR 16 ROSARY 15-6 Div. I 8 17 MATER DEI 15-5 Div. I 6 18 EL TORO 18-7 Div. II 4 19 PENINSULA 15-3 Div. II 17 20 DOS PUEBLOS 19-4 Div. IV 18 21 CAMARILLO 15-5 Div. I 7 22 THOUSAND OAKS 12-6 Div. I 12 23 ETIWANDA 19-2 Div. II 22 24 NORCO 10-10 Div. I 14 25 RIGHETTI 16-7 Div. II 15